FS Innovation Article Roundup – January 2014

Emirates NBD lets customers shake their mobile to save

Emirates NBD has added a ‘shake n save’ feature to its mobile banking app, letting customers move money to their savings accounts with a wiggle of their handsets.  Subscribers to the app can select a range from between AED 50 and AED 2000 which can be moved from their debit account to a savings place with just a shake of their mobile phone.  With each shake a random amount is displayed on the screen, and the customer can continue until they are happy with the sum that has been transferred. The money is moved immediately and the balance updated instantly. Read Article & See Video

Barclays to pilot mobile cheque deposits as UK Government proposes rule change

The UK government is to begin consultations on new legislation to permit the use of smartphones for remote cheque deposits.  Under the proposals, UK banks will be able process cheque images for the first time, suspending the current requirement for banks to physically see the paper version before agreeing to honour the payment.  The Treasury says the new rules should cut cheque processing times from six to two days.  Barclays Bank says it will begin pilot trials of remote cheque deposit technology early in 2014. Read Article

Brits too embarrassed to wear Google Glass

While geeks worldwide salivate over the upcoming public launch of Google Glass, the vast majority of regular Joes say they would be too embarrassed to don the hi-tech googles in public.  Set for launch in April, Google’s smart glasses have grabbed the attention of gadget-lovers and pioneering banks worldwide. However, a survey of 1132 people by UK discounting site lovemyvouchers, has uncovered a number of potential stumbling blocks to mass-market adoption of the technology.  Chief among the concerns is the embarrassment factor, with only one-in-three agreeing that they would feel comfortable wearing the space-age specs in public. A further 64% fear that their privacy would be violated when talking to another person who was scanning their glass apps, with only 11% unperturbed by privacy issues. Read Article

Nedbank using social media to win over rival bank customers

South Africa’s Nedbank is using social media analytics tools to win customers from rival banks by monitoring their chatter on popular forums such as Twitter and Facebook.  Nedbank partnered with IBM and local supplier Olrac spSolutions to develop a predictive modeling system that integrates social media analytics into the bank’s systems.  Whereas before the bank used a number of tools and external resources to mine social media for customer feedback purposes, the marketing team now have access to a visual dashboard of social chatter reflecting customer preferences, sentiment and satisfaction that can be used to craft and deliver more effective sales promotions and customer messages. Read Article

Online and mobile gaining ground over telephone and branch-based banking – YouGov

Close to two thirds (64%) of people online who hold a current account with a bank or building society would prefer to conduct their banking on the Web or via a mobile application compared to just 29% who prefer telephone or in-branch banking.  The survey of 2300+ UK adults by YouGov on behalf of Genpact also showed that 29% of respondents had not used their bank’s call centre service, indicating the rising importance of direct access for personal banking.  Predictably, technology savvy ‘Generation Y’ is the most likely to prefer banking online or via a mobile application (75%) and the least likely to want to visit a branch (11%). However, over a third of over-55’s surveyed would still choose to visit a bricks-and-mortar bank than go direct.  The preference for virtual banking is more pronounced among the professional class of LinkedIn users (74%) compared to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ dabblers. Read Article

BBVA taps Wincor Nixdorf for next-generation ATMs

Spanish financial institution BBVA is working with Wincor Nixdorf on the roll-out of a new generation of touch-screen ATMs and trials of self-service videoconferencing technology for in-branch consultations with bank experts.  Approximately 100 of the new cash machines have so far been installed across the bank’s locations in Spain.  The ATM offers account access using an electronic identity card and a password from bbva.es, the ability to complete transactions with a contactless card that is based on NFC technology, and account statements printed in DIN A4 format. The bank’s objective is to establish the new touch-screen terminal gradually as its standard ATM. Read Article

RBS to beam targeted ads to Sky TV viewers

The Royal Bank of Scotland has signed up to a new tailored TV advertising service from broadcaster Sky which will let it target viewers based on considerations such as age, income and location.  Following a six month trial, Sky is now rolling out the AdSmart service to its viewers – representing more than a fifth of UK households – who will now see personalised TV ad breaks. 
The technology works by sending a library of adverts via satellite to Sky+HD set-top boxes and then selecting those which best match a household’s profile and inserting them into live breaks.   The ads are based on customers’ postcodes and publicly available data drawn from third party providers such as Experian.  The system lets advertisers break down potential targets by income and ‘financial strategy’, which discerns between groups including ‘young essentials’, ‘stretched finances’, and ‘sunset security’.  Other factors which can be weighed are household composition, age, whether the viewer is a homeowner, and what their ‘mosaic lifestyle’ is – ‘rural solitude’, ‘industrial heritage’, ‘liberal opinion’.  Sky hopes that the service will help attract smaller, local advertisers but has also signed up major brands, including RBS, Tesco and Audi. Customers who don’t want targeted ads can opt out online or over the phone. Read Article

London Unveils World’s Largest Solar Bridge

The world’s largest solar-powered bridge was unveiled to commuters this month in London, England.  Half of the energy for Blackfriars Station is now produced by 4,400 photovoltaic panels covering Blackfriars Bridge, which sits atop the River Thames, according to Network Rail, First Capital Connect and Solarcentury, which have been working on the project for about five years.

“Electric trains are already the greenest form of public transport—this roof gives our passengers an even more sustainable journey,” David Statham, managing director of First Capital Connect, said. “The distinctive roof has also turned our station into an iconic landmark visible for miles along the River Thames.”  First Capital Connect expects the panels to cut the station’s carbon emissions by 511 tons a year, or the equivalent of 89,000 car trips. further reducing the carbon footprint of its train routes to the south east of England. Read Article

Barclaycard gets down with the kids in Apps for Good challenge

Barclaycard is supporting the launch of two new apps developed by schoolchildren as part of the UK’s Apps for Good education initiative.  Barclaycard is the sole sponsor of Apps for Good‘s ‘Saving, Spending and Giving – making the most from your money’ category, and has worked closely with the two winning schools to bring their app ideas to life. As part of its involvement, Barclaycard has offered support at each stage of the process, from conception through to the development of the apps and finally bringing them to market. Read Article

More Th>n telematics app slashes insurance costs for safe drivers

UK insurer More Th>n is promising car owners up to 20% off their premiums if they use a new telematics app which assesses their driving style.  Aimed at experienced drivers, the free iPhone and Android app assesses the user’s style on the road for 200 miles, providing feedback after each journey.  A discount of up to 20% is then generated based on factors such as acceleration, braking and speed, and can be applied to any new car insurance quote received through the app. Read Article

Mint PFM platform to track bitcoin transactions

Money management app Mint has struck a deal with Coinbase that will let users view their bitcoin transactions alongside more traditional financial accounts.  Intuit-owned Mint links its 14 million users to more than 20,000 different banks, credit cards, loan and investment accounts, allowing them to view their financial statements in one place.  Now it is moving into the fast-growing crypto-currency sphere through Coinbase, America’s largest bitcoin wallet, which already claims more than 870,000 customers.
Mint users will be able to link their Coinbase wallets, letting them view all of their bitcoin transactions and data alongside their bank account and card information. Read Article

Microsoft discontinues its InfoPath electronic-forms product

As had been rumored for a while, Microsoft is discontinuing its InfoPath electronic forms product.  Company officials confirmed the news in a January 31 post to the Office Blogs site. From that post on the future of electronic forms technology:  “In an effort to streamline our investments and deliver a more integrated Office forms user experience, we’re retiring InfoPath and investing in new forms technology across SharePoint, Access, and Word. This means that InfoPath 2013 is the last release of the desktop client, and InfoPath Forms Services in SharePoint Server 2013 is the last release of InfoPath Forms Services. The InfoPath Forms Services technology within Office 365 will be maintained and it will function until further notice.” Read Article

Author: Steve Wakefield

Steve Wakefield is an experienced Innovator presently based in London.

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